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regular-article-logo Saturday, 15 June 2024

Away from spotlight, Wriddhiman Saha pads up

Former India keeper eyes a good IPL season for Gujarat Titans

Sayak Banerjee Calcutta Published 27.02.23, 04:25 AM
Wriddhiman Saha.

Wriddhiman Saha. File picture

The clunking sound of the bat hitting the ball suggested that timing-wise, the strokes were as good as perfect. For a good 45 minutes every day over the past week, that has been the focus of Wriddhiman Saha, who has been practising rigorously at the Kalighat Club nets.

Just over a month remains before the start of this year’s IPL. For Saha, this IPL might be his last, though he’s yet to say anything on record. But irrespective of what future awaits him, Saha is aware that he needs to prepare well for the upcoming challenges.

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“Individually, I need to start from where I had finished last year and continue with that form. It depends on what the team combination would be, but I’ll look to contribute whenever I get the opportunity, be it while batting or keeping. And if I’m not playing, I’ll then be doing my bit from the dugout,” Saha told The Telegraph.

The keeper-batsman, who opened the batting and hit three 50-plus scores aggregating 317 runs in 11 appearances for Gujarat Titans last year, will be joining the defending champions when they begin their pre-season camp on March 1 in Baroda.

“After the domestic season, there’s usually a gap of a month or so. So I have been practising here at Kalighat Club and hitting a few balls so that I’m in decent touch. Heading straightaway into an IPL game could be a risk,” Saha stated.

The 38-year-old no longer hopes for a comeback to the Indian Test team after he was told by the team management in January last year that he wouldn’t be needed. But what followed thereafter was his unceremonious exit from Bengal, which certainly could have been avoided.

Saha, though, is in no mood to recall the past, also making it clear that he’s not interested in proving anything to anyone with his performance. “I have nothing to show or prove to anyone. What matters to me is contributing to the side I’m representing,” Saha said.

“Yeah, others do stuff such as gesturing with their bats and yelling after scoring a century. But those things don’t come to me at all. I won’t be scoring runs in the IPL to make any statement or send any message to anyone.”

Point of no return

Even if the Cricket Association of Bengal requests Saha to get back to playing for Bengal, something Snehasish Ganguly had said after taking over as the state body’s president last October, the former will not be shifting from his stance.

Saha severed ties with the CAB and left for Tripura after a senior official of the state association had questioned his attitude and commitment towards Bengal.

“No one (from the CAB) has contacted me yet. Besides, when I have already left, I will not be returning.

“After my years of service, I didn’t deserve those words, especially from someone holding a CAB post. No counter-statements were made thereafter, nor did my colleagues protest,” Saha, who played 40 Tests and nine ODIs, remarked.

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